March 4, 2019

THE PRESENT OF THE GOP IS RACIST, THE FUTURE CAN'T BE:

What Do the 13 Republicans Who Voted Against Trump's Emergency Declaration Have in Common?: It's not their ideology. Or the composition of their district. (ANDY SMARICK  MARCH 4, 2019, The Bulwark)

[A] curious--and potentially encouraging--event took place Tuesday: Thirteen Republicans in the House voted against the president's contrived emergency declaration. And what stood out about that group was how young they skewed.

Before the vote, I suspected that dissenting Republicans would be long-experienced institutionalists and conspicuous constitutionalists. People who'd been in Congress for decades and, thanks to seniority and a history of standing up for constitutional principles, had the freedom to buck House leadership and the White House on a vote that was lost anyway.

There were a few of those among the 13 dissidents. Four were 60 or older, and Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner and Fred Upton, for instance, have each been in Congress for more than 30 years.

But Reps. Justin Amash, Elise Stefanik, and Mike Gallagher are in their 30s. Another four are between 40 and 45. None of these members have been in the House for a decade.

Age stands out because other obvious factors do not. Of the 13, a few won their 2018 elections in squeakers, but several others got more than 60 percent of the vote. Only two of the 13 are members of the conservative Freedom Caucus.

Ideology wasn't a clear predictor either. According to govtrack, Amash was the fifth-most liberal GOP member in the 115th Congress, but Stefanik and Gallagher were in the more conservative half of the caucus. Sensenbrenner and Francis Rooney had more conservative voting records than most of the GOP caucus, but Thomas Massie and Greg Walden had more liberal voting records.

In the last Congress, the average age in the House was about 58. In this new Congress, that number has fallen, largely because of the massive influx of young Democrats. Perhaps these young dissident Republicans are taking some inspiration from their new, forward-leaning colleagues across the aisle. Or maybe their relative youth gives them the opportunity to take the long view and realize that hitching their wagons to the Trump administration is unwise.

Posted by at March 4, 2019 4:55 PM

  

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